MDEQ Announces Plans to Deal with Climate Change

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Feb. 20, 2019, executive order reorganizes the MDEQ into the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, which will integrate the state's mission of protecting the Great Lakes, providing clean drinking water, and addressing climate change

Liesl Clark, director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, outlined the state's commitment to addressing climate change on Feb. 21 at the Michigan Climate Action Network's first annual Summit at Grand Valley State University's Eberhard Center.

MiCAN is a grassroots network of groups and individuals working to build and mobilize around climate issues across the state. The summit brought together the public, climate advocates, activists, and lawmakers from across Michigan.

"To quote Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, 'There's a piece of the answer in all of us,'" Clark told the attendees. She provided an update on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Feb. 20, 2019, executive order reorganizing the MDEQ into the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, which will integrate the state's mission of protecting the Great Lakes, providing clean drinking water, and addressing climate change while continuing to protect public health and the environment.

On Feb. 4, Gov. Whitmer signed an executive directive entering Michigan into the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of governors from 20 other states that have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. On Feb. 12, Wisconsin also joined the alliance.

Dr. Hanna-Attisha is a pediatrician, professor, and public health advocate whose research exposed the Flint, Mich., water crisis.

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